ISA - MES GUD EXEC
MES Guide for Executives - Why and How to Select, Implement, and Maintain a Manufacturing Execution System
|Publication Date:||1 January 2009|
"Are you already working on a second book?" Dennis Brandl, editor of the ISA-95 Enterprise-Control System Integration series of standards, asked me during the ISA EXPO 2007 in Houston.
"Well, I'm thinking of writing a book about MES and ISA-95, for the boards of directors and management at manufacturing companies," I answered. "I've noticed that many of my clients have trouble demonstrating to management what a manufacturing execution system is and what it can do for you. The books and white papers currently available on that subject are all targeted to a technical audience. There's nothing for the management level."
"That's a good idea," Brandl said; then he noted, "It should be a small book, one they could finish on the plane."
I thought that was a good starting point. A book short enough that CEOs, CFOs, general managers, controllers, plant managers, production managers, and IT managers at manufacturing enterprises could read it cover to cover during a single flight, so to speak. Something that would give them a quick first impression of manufacturing execution systems; a book that answered questions such as "What is MES?," "How can MES help us improve our business results?," and "What can we expect when we start using MES?"
The following year, I further elaborated this plan. During my daily work as a management consultant, I collected examples, spoke with colleagues, and interviewed IT managers and production managers who've garnered a great deal of MES experience within their companies. This resulted in a wealth of information, the most important parts of which are summarized in this book.
"Why would we need a manufacturing execution system? We follow a SAP-unless policy," you may be thinking. Chapter 1 addresses the question whether an ERP system can provide sufficient support for plant processes, and if so, under what circumstances. Your company may not need an MES. In that case, you can put the book down after chapter 1.
But you might come to the conclusion after reading that chapter that your production processes are sufficiently complex that your ERP system doesn't adequately meet your plant's information needs. In that case, read chapter 2 to find out exactly what an MES is, and chapter 3 for a rough overview of the costs and benefits of such a system. If you see opportunities for your company, then chapter 4 will tell you in global terms how an MES selection project should proceed, and chapter 5 spells out what your company can expect during implementation and initial use of the MES. If your company has multiple production sites, it may be possible to use one and the same MES in all your plants; chapter 6 contains advice on developing and maintaining a multi-site MES template. Finally, chapter 7 gives a bird's-eye view of the ISA-95 series and how it can help both people and information systems communicate better, internally and externally, during your MES projects.
This book would not have been possible without the help and support of several organizations, companies, and individuals. My thanks go to WBF (The Forum for Automation and Manufacturing Professionals, formerly known as the World Batch Forum), whose yearly conferences offer professionals the opportunity to exchange information on best practices. Many WBF conference presentations have been a source of inspiration for this book. I also thank MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association International) for its congresses, white papers, and other sources of information that help manufacturing enterprises to reach a higher plane. I've quoted from several MESA studies and publications in this book. And thank you, ISA, for making it possible to develop useful standards such as ISA-95, and for publishing specialized books in the field of manufacturing IT.
I also extend my heartfelt thanks to all my interviewees; their real-world experience will help readers to understand what they can do to make an MES project successful. Thank you also, Gert-Jan van Dijk, Jos Hensen, Wouter Huijs, Jan Kelderman, and Sjoerd van Staveren, for reviewing the draft versions. Your critical comments and useful tips-based on your own practical experience-have made an extremely valuable contribution to the quality of this book.
And finally, of course, a big hug for my husband, family, in-laws, and friends; thank you all for providing an environment in which I found the relaxation, rest, and energy I needed to write this book.